Collecting My Thoughts

I sit in the slacks I never wear – the ones I am beginning to outgrow- and shift my weight and touch my pressed white blouse. The blouse is tight against my breasts, I think it is intentional. I also think it is dumb.

I suspect my tattoo is visible through the thin white fabric, but I figure that is okay. A resident assistant isn’t the most professional career, a visible tattoo at the job interview probably isn’t the worst that could happen.

I shift my weight and reread the text on my phone:

You want to go dancing next week?

He asked that on Wednesday and I replied:

I don’t know how to dance.

He said:

I’ll teach you.

Part of me is seriously not interested. But the other part of says that is precisely why I should go. I am ‘seriously not interested’ because there is a different boy – an utterly unattainable boy. And I think if I go dancing with this one, that maybe presently going out with someone I’m not interested in is better than pining for someone else.

These pants are tight against my stomach. I long for my jeans, even my Nike shorts. Anything but this zipper crushing my bellybutton.

“Grace Thompson?”

I stand up and plaster a smile to my face, I turn my phone over so the screen is facedown.

“Hi, nice to meet you!” I pitch my voice an octave higher and remind myself as we head in that I shouldn’t talk too fast. While they run down a variety of scenarios and rather typical questions, I make a few notes in the journal I have brought. I need to be aware that even if I’m offered a position, the summer dates might clash with my job at camp.

Chill out, you don’t even have the job yet.

I am talking too fast, I’m certain of it while I list the responsibilities at my summer work. When they ask about a time I failed I give a cliched example, they make notes on their yellow papers and at the end I ask a couple of questions I pulled from an article what to ask at a job interview.

A few hours before this I got coffee with my friend Rick, I asked for advice on keeping up with one of my more difficult courses this term. But I also mentioned doubt regarding my major, my career, what I wanted to do with myself.

His advice was to not look at my life as “If I major in X I will get a job in Y and I’ll live Z and grow into A.” He said I should look at it backwards, where do I want to be when I’m 75 years old? What do I have to do to get there?

I told him thanks, that seemed like a good idea. But the truth is I have no idea where I want to be when I’m 75. I’m not convinced being an RA will influence that. I guess my major of study might, but even then ….

My thoughts drift to these two boys, I am almost certain neither of them will be in my life when I’m 75.

The world will be very different when I’m 75. Maybe trying so hard to plan for the future isn’t such a good idea. Maybe Rick is wrong. Maybe, maybe, maybe …

“Grace it was very nice to meet you, if you’ll wait just a few minutes in the lobby your next interview will begin shortly.”

I smile and keep my voice breezy and high and tell them “thank you, so nice to meet you, thank you, have a good weekend, thanks.”

I go back to the lobby and sit down again. I shift my legs. My zipper continues to jab into me, threatening to tear me open – expose all the thoughts spinning, spinning, spinning inside of me.

-Grace T, February 2018

-Can nobody hear me? / I’ve got a lot that’s on my mind / I cannot breathe / Can you hear it, too? – Hear Me, Imagine Dragons

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